Football’s matchup determined in last minute against rival

With rivalry pride and $1,000 on the line, the Tigers were unable to pull off a win against Mehlville. Even with quarterback Bailey Vuylsteke (12) taking the team on his shoulders.

The varsity football team lost 17-14 after a Mehlville field goal in the last 11 seconds of the game on Friday, Oct. 9. With fan voting, the game was the Rams High School Game of the Week, which meant that the winners were greeted with a check for $1,000 at the end of the game.

“I thought defensively we struggled at the beginning, but we got out of the first half with only seven points, so that wasn’t terribly bad.” head coach Arlee Conners said. “Some things got away from them during the game and they really had a hard time responding. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t have our best showing out here tonight on our own field.”

Vuylsteke showed an ability to run the ball after being mostly a passing quarterback in previous games. He rushed for 94 yards, including the second touchdown, and passed for 146 yards.

“[Bailey’s] definitely an athletic guy that can do some different things,” Conners said. “When the plays broke down on [the passing, and] he didn’t have a receiver to throw to, he had to take it on himself to move the trains and he did that for us.”

Injured wide receiver Antwan Banks (12) returned for part of the game, scoring a touchdown in the last minute of the first half to even the score at seven points each. The two teams tied it up 14-14 in the second half until Mehlville kicked a field goal to win.

With the loss to the Panthers, the Tigers are now 4-4 and will face Lindbergh in their last regular season game next Friday (Oct. 16) at Lindbergh at 7 p.m. District games will be determined after the game next week.

“As bad as this loss was, we still got a long way to go. So we gotta get next week to try to get us another home game here, and then get to playoffs. And, you know, all this stuff right here won’t feel so bad,” Conners said.